Construction to start on 2 correctional facilities to replace Lincoln Hills

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MADISON, Wis. - Construction on two Type 1 juvenile facilities to replace Lincoln Hills will start in two counties, according to a release from Gov. Tony Evers’ office.

One facility will be located in Milwaukee at the intersection of Teutonia and Mill Road, officials said. The neighborhood was identified for ease of families to visit youth residing in care of the Department of Corrections.

The second facility will be located in Hortonia, which is in Outagamie County, according to the release. This location was also identified as a possible site for its proximity to families with youth in the care of corrections.

Evers announced the plans Tuesday. The facilities will house serious offenders from the state's troubled youth prison near Irma. The state Department of Corrections will operate the facilities.

Republican legislators passed a bill last year that requires the state Department of Corrections to close the youth prison by 2021 and replace it with regional facilities. The bill allows for borrowing up to $25 million for the facilities.

“We are committed to getting kids out of Lincoln Hills and closer to home as soon as we safely and responsibly can,” Evers said in the release. “Today’s announcements show significant action toward our shared goal of ensuring kids get the education, programming and mental health treatment they need in supportive settings that are closer to their families and communities.”

Evers announced he is appointing Rep. David Crowley as chair of the Act 185 Juvenile Corrections Grant Committee and Sharlen Moore as the nonprofit representative to the committee, according to the release.

The committee will determine grants to counties to start building the Secure Youth Residential Centers for Children and Youth, officials said.

Evers said in January that he wanted to delay the closing of Lincoln Hills by two years.